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Enda Lavelle to stand as community candidate in Ballina Electoral Area


Enda Lavelle to stand as community candidate in Ballina

Michael Commins

FORMER Crossmolina footballer Enda Lavelle has made a dramatic entry into the Ballina Electoral Area contest for the Council elections on May 24.
Enda has confirmed that he is going forward as an independent community candidate. He lives in Crossmolina but the family are from out in Keenagh. He is currently chairman of Crossmolina Bord na nÓg and has deep roots in the local GAA. He was a member of the Crossmolina team that won the All Ireland Club title in 2001. He is also the holder of numerous medals with the club.
The Lavelle family is widely known throughout the area. Enda is the youngest of 13 and the family outreach is significant in the region. He has been involved in the construction business for a good many years.  
Enda has had close ties with Fine Gael for a number of years and was a member of the party at local branch level. It is understood that he had come under an amount of pressure to let his name go forward.
However, with the decision of long serving councilor Eddie Staunton to step down, other potential party candidates emerged in recent weeks. Padraig Staunton from Moygownagh, a nephew of Eddie, and Anthony Walsh from Crossmolina, a teacher in Belmullet, are now seeking the party nomination at the Ballina Area Convention in Hotel Ballina next Saturday night.
The other candidates seeking a place on the party ticket are outgoing councillors Seamus Weir (Knockmore), Joe Mellett (Swinford), Jarlath Munnelly (Crossmolina) and John O’Hara (Bonniconlon) as well as Ballina town councillor Mark Winters and Neil Cruise from Foxford.
“I have spoken to many people throughout the area and I am very heartened by the response,” Enda told The Mayo News yesterday. “A lot of people are rallying around me. I will be issuing a full statement in the coming weeks in relation to various matters on which I will be basing my campaign. It is a big challenge and I am really up for it now.”
Enda Lavelle will find himself involves in a major three way battle for votes in the general Crossmolina region with Michael Loftus of Fianna Fail and most likely with either Anthony Walsh or Padraig Staunton, whichever of them gets on the party ticket. Michael Loftus (FF) was pipped for the last seat by just eight votes by Gerry Ginty (Ind) in a dramatic closing count five years ago.